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Mesophilic Direct-Set Starter Culture

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SKU: 6732

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Mesophilic Direct Set Cheese Starter Culture or Cheese Making

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Use this versatile mesophilic cheese culture to make flavorful semi-soft and fresh cheeses at home! From Cheddar, Colby, and Monterey Jack to Feta, Chèvre, and more, you'll enjoy the flavor and variety of homemade cheeses using this starter culture.

  • Each box contains 8 packets of direct-set starter culture.
  • Store extra packets in the freezer.
  • Use as directed by your recipe or at the following rate: 1 packet per gallon of milk, 2 packets per 2-4 gallons, or 4 packets per 5-10 gallons.
  • Heat milk and culture according to temperatures outlined in your recipe.
  • Avoid using ultra-pasteurized or UHT milk.
  • Direct-set (single-use) culture, no maintenance required.
  • Having trouble making cheese? Browse our Expert Advice Articles on Cheesemaking or contact us for assistance!


Mesophilic Direct-Set Starter Culture Ingredients

  • Sucrose, Maltodextrins, Lactic bacteria (Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactisLactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris)


Mesophilic Direct-Set Starter Culture Allergen Information

  • This product is manufactured in a facility that also produces products containing soy and dairy.
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten-free


Shipping Information and Shelf-life

Our Mesophilic Direct-Set Starter Culture is dehydrated and shipped in a barrier-sealed packet. The starter keeps:

  • At room temperature (68° to 78°F): 3 to 4 weeks
  • In the refrigerator (40° to 45°F): 6 to 12 months
  • In the freezer (0° to 25°F): 12+ months


What is a Direct-Set Culture? 

Direct-Set cultures are a one-time-use culture, they cannot be recultured (i.e. perpetuated beyond the single batch).  Direct-Set cultures are often preferred by cheese makers as they require no maintenance or care.  Simply keep the packet in the freezer and remove the portion for your recipe when it's time to make cheese. Most Direct-Set cultures contain multiple doses to inoculate multiple batches.


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Questions on Mesophilic Direct-Set Starter Culture

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  • From Alisha at 12/8/2010 9:27 PM
    • Does this contain malto dextrin?
    • Yes, this culture contains: Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris, Sucrose, Maltodextrins.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From ph at 3/19/2011 9:13 PM
    • How do you make this cheese? Do yo have a how-to video? Is it as easy as kefir or yogurt?
    • This culture can be used to make a variety of cheeses. There are instructions included with the product, but we don't yet have any cheese-making videos. (We're working on it!) There are some cheese-making FAQs here:, and we do have some books available as well.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Michelle at 8/1/2011 11:47 PM
    • Is this product available in a larger measure?
    • Hello Michelle,

      At this time, we do not sell this culture in a larger measure.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From KC at 11/13/2011 8:48 PM
    • Does this starter contain dairy? I am trying to make a non-dairy cheese with nut milks for people with dairy allergies.
    • The carrier for this starter is sucrose and maltodextrins. No dairy is involved.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Robin at 2/17/2012 11:00 AM
    • How is this different from the Chevre or Feta cultures?
    • The direct set mesophilic culture contains more strains of bacteria than the chevre or feta cultures. You can certainly use the chevre or feta cultures in the same way as you would use a mesophilic culture, since chevre and feta ARE mesophilic (cool temperature loving) cultures. However, you won't get the same depth of flavor in your hard cheeses, and your chevre and feta won't have quite the same "tang".
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Kathy at 5/1/2012 10:25 AM
    • To make cheddar cheese, do I skim the cream (fat) off the raw milk first or do I leave it in the milk? Or does it matter?
    • Definitely leave it in! Also give the cultured milk a good stir before adding rennet. If you skim the cream off, your cheddar will be very dry and crumbly and won't press properly.​
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Brite at 9/5/2012 6:22 PM
    • I am allergic to maltodextrin- what do you recommend in place of this product? I'm new to cheese making but I'm having a hard time finding starters that don't have added chemicals that cause problems for me.
    • Mesophilic Aromatic Type B Starter Culture does not contain maltodextrins. It is a little more strongly flavored than the mesophilic Direct Set Culture, so it may or may not be appropriate for your recipe.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Caitlin at 9/11/2012 2:52 PM
    • Is the Lactococcus lactis in this starter derived from dairy or plant material (aka is it vegan)?
    • The culture does contain some dairy; it is not vegan.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Melissa at 11/11/2012 5:02 PM
    • If I use the direct set culture, do I still need to use rennet to coagulate the milk to make hard cheese? What does "direct set" mean, does it mean it already has rennet in it?
    • This direct-set culture does not contain rennet. Whether or not you need to add rennet will depend on the recipe you are using. "Direct-set" simply means it is a one-time-use culture, and cannot be recultured from one batch to the next.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Pete at 11/28/2012 5:33 PM
    • If I am storing these cultures in the freezer, when I go to use them do I need them to "thaw" or can I just use immediately as the recipe says.

    • They can be used almost right away as they will thaw quickly at room temperature.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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Customer Reviews

great product Review by MrsJR

I've been very pleased with the quality of the culture and it has worked fabulously! I'll definitely order again.

(Posted on 10/19/2015)

Awesome Review by mntgoatchick

Thank you for providing, love this easy to use culture.

(Posted on 9/14/2015)

Love the Mesophilic Culture Review by Merrie

Thanks so much for the great culture and I am enjoying my wonderful cheese! Keep up the good work. All your products are fantastic and your customer service is a joy. Well done.

(Posted on 9/3/2015)

Works great Review by ketika

I like that the culture is packaged in small foil packets instead of plastic or paper. My partially skimmed cows milk set in about half the time that I've experienced with other brands. That's great since I'm always in a rush to get to the next step. Cheese has turned out tasty too.

(Posted on 8/19/2015)

great Review by whisper38

worked just great for me.

(Posted on 10/7/2014)

Tasty Cheese! Review by Tamarah

I'm new to cheese making, so consider that when reading this. I have made three batches of cheese with this culture. They have all turned out with different consistencies from rather thin to thicker to just right. I'm wondering if the age of the milk I'm using is making the difference?? The thinner cheese was fresher. The taste of the 'just right' cheese was a little tangier too! Great Product!!

(Posted on 6/12/2014)

Mesophilic Culture Review by Farmwife

Worked very well. Price is a little higher than other places, but worth it.

(Posted on 6/3/2014)

Very happy Review by Deb

I haven't used the product yet but I am very happy easy to order and arrived fast love your recipes for cheeses wait for my feta to age them I will see! Look great!

(Posted on 5/9/2014)

great Review by Lyn

this worked great

(Posted on 3/30/2014)

Perfect! Review by Kelly

My first try at cheese making! The culture arrived quickly even in the holiday rush. The culture worked great for goat cheese and I have had very positive feedback from my tasters.

(Posted on 12/30/2013)

Mesophilic culture is the best! Review by Happy Chef

The Mesophilic culture works perfectly everytime for the goat chevre. It gives me the greatest yield and creamiest texture. It is truly excellent also for my feta!

I love it!

(Posted on 12/23/2013)

good review Review by Jeanie

I've used this before and I really like the ease of use and it makes tasty cheese.

(Posted on 12/2/2013)

Happy with product Review by Marti

Product came quickly and has worked perfectly.

(Posted on 11/11/2013)

Mesophilic culture Review by Auggie

This is a very versatile culture. I made a farmers cheese for a customer and she said it was the best she tasted in 30 years of perogi making.

(Posted on 1/10/2013)

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